Is the time for talking over?

Iran certainly seems to be suggesting they have no interest in continuing:

Talks on Iran’s nuclear program held over the weekend between the Islamic Republic and six world powers have been deemed a failure.

The talks in Istanbul held between Iran and P5+1  – United Security Council permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany – did not make progress in part because Iran came to the table with preconditions, including that it would not halt its uranium enrichment and wanted that right to be “recognized.”

“This is not the conclusion I had hoped for. We had hoped to embark on a discussion of practical ways forward, and have made every effort to make that happen,” European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in Istanbul on Jan. 22. “We expect Iran to demonstrate a pragmatic attitude and to respond positively to our openness toward dialogue and negotiations. The door remains open, the choice remains in Iran’s hands.”

“It remains essential that Iran demonstrates that its (nuclear) program is exclusively for peaceful purposes. But so far the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) has not been able to certify the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s program, given what the Agency states is a lack of sufficient cooperation by Iran,” Ashton also said.

On Sunday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the failed talks, saying during a speech aired on live television that “They have talked for a few rounds, but we never expected that issues would be resolved during these few sessions because of the record and mentality of the other parties.” He said he believed results would be achieved in future sessions.

Ahmadinejad also said that “the uncultured Zionists and some power-hungry people in Europe and the U.S. are not interested in a good resolution of the issues.”

“You cannot make Iran back down an inch from its course as it is now a nuclear state,” he concluded.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is suggesting that all this focus on talking is a waste of time:

Speaking at a London inquiry into the Iraq War where he was having to explain his decision to join the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Blair said the time had now come to “get our heads out of the sand” and take action against Iran.

“I say this with all the passion I possibly can,” said Blair, now an envoy for the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers — the United States, Russia, the EU and the United Nations.

The West had to stop believing it was responsible for the actions of Iran or extremists, he said.

“The fact is they are doing it because they disagree fundamentally with our way of life and they’ll carry on doing it unless they are met by the requisite determination and, if necessary, force.”

Tony Blair, a man filled with wisdom.  Let’s hope that the powers that be are listening.

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